Finland increases funding to UNICEF

Nour, 11, studies at home in Al-Kaisa village, Rural Damascus. © UNICEF/Syria/2021/Johnny Shahan

Through an additional €1. million grant to UNICEF, the Government of Finland has renewed its commitment to enhance access to education for Syrian children returning to school and provide a gender sensitive and inclusive learning environment for all children. The new €1 million contribution brings Finland’s funding to UNICEF to a total of €4million.

Widespread displacements, lack of learning spaces, poverty, and protection concerns hamper children’s access to education in Syria. Nearly 2,5 million Syrian children are out of school, almost 51 per cent of them are girls, and many more are at risk of dropping out. Children with disabilities are often among the most marginalized ones and more likely to be left behind. As these children grow older, it is increasingly more difficult for them to enroll in school and adjust to formal schooling. This hinders not only their development but also their prospects in the long run.

Heart of Finland´s support to UNICEF

“Investing in education and providing Syrian children who are most in need – including those displaced, marginalized girls, and children with disabilities – with access to learning is at the heart of Finland’s support to UNICEF,” said Ms. Tarja Fernández, Chargée d’Affaires of Finland to Syria.

With the additional allocation, UNICEF and partners will be able to support vulnerable girls and boys affected by the crisis. It will complement ongoing light rehabilitation work on classrooms and learning spaces and provide non-formal education through remedial and catch-up classes, self-learning programmes, recreational activities, and provision of learning supplies for children who are out-of-school or at-risk of dropping out. Cash assistance and case management will similarly support parents and caregivers in responding to the needs of children with severe disabilities and enhance opportunities for these children to access education.

“Every child, everywhere, has the right to attend school and learn,” said UNICEF Syria Representative, Bo Viktor Nylund. “The new funding from Finland will not only give more girls and boys in Syria a chance to continue learning but also equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to prosper in life.”